I am no longer a girl-nor do I desire to be one. I am the woman the girl always longed to become. But I have great affection for that girl-the young woman from humble beginnings trying to find her way in the beautiful and dangerous world. I see her innocent hopefulness, her quiet sadness, her curiosity, her bravery, her sense of adventure, her unnameable fears, her confidence and her despair. I see all that she overcame- I see both her triumphs and her struggles. I offer a prayer of abiding gratitude to her for being true to herself, following her dreams and pursuing her passions. For staying the course and never giving up, for keeping her spirit light and her heart open wide. I cherish her deeply.

And I look ahead to the Wise Elder Woman I will become. She too offers up a prayer. A prayer of encouragement, unconditional love, tenderness, insight, grace and benevolence. I see her kind aging face and find myself reflected in her sparkling calm blue eyes. She beckons me onwards and I am comforted and know I am loved beyond words. I am the girl, the in-between woman and the Elder. Until I am no longer and my soul is free from this temporary, earthly human vessel.

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